Social Question

jca's avatar

Do you find it really tough (almost impossible) to keep in touch with people who do not use email and/or social networking sites?

Asked by jca (28104 points ) February 7th, 2013

I have several friends (elderly women) who I only keep in touch with by phone. They don’t use email or social networking sites like Facebook. I find it really hard to keep in touch with them, because of my busy life. The phone calls get farther and farther apart, and more labor-intensive and something I find myself dreading (the inevitable small talk and apologies about why it’s been so long). Whereas, if they were on email or FB or other social networking, we could be in touch many times per day.

I was talking to a coworker today about one of them, who is our former coworker. We were both saying how we find it hard to keep in touch with her, and it would be so much easier if she used email.

Do you find this happens to you, too?

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18 Answers

Shippy's avatar

I do actually. I am not fond of chatting on the phone. I prefer writing to people. Or like you mentioned sending a quick text hug or something. So yes, it does make it harder.

Carinaponcho's avatar

Yes. It absolutely happens to me. Even if I try to keep in touch with them, I tend to forget. But if their posts kept popping up in my news feed on Facebook, I might remember the call them more.

Earthgirl's avatar

You mean, like, my mother? All you have to do is pick up the phone…but I have to admit, I have a phone aversion. Many people nowadays do. I don’t really think we’re busier than other generations past. I think we’re more detached. Maybe that’s just me feeling alienated from people. I don’t think Facebook is a substitute for a real conversation, however humble or trivial. It’s not the same kind of human connection at all. I think if people really want to stay in touch they will. I find it ironic that Facebook, which would seem to be a way to keep people more connected is making them less connected.

gailcalled's avatar

My best friend does not have a computer and I have to announce to him often that my phone call is a three-minute one just to pass on the tidbit that I would have emailed him, if I were able.

We make phone dates for longer talks so we can sit down, him in his house with his cup of
coffee and me in mine with my cup of tea.

(We live ¼ of a mile from each other. He calls me all the time to get info off the net; weather, menus, directions, movie schedules, recipes, interlibrary loans, Alan Ladd’s height.)

I find Facebook a mystery most of the time. Today, however, I got to see the photos of my new three-day old grand niece so that was fine.

muppetish's avatar

Somewhat. I actually enjoy writing snail mail, but I find that the timing is always horrible, especially since I end up working on letters that span several pages and then get discouraged if the recipient doesn’t respond in a timely manner (even if my own manner was less than timely.) In general though, I think that it’s difficult for me to maintain contact with people unless they are the first person to speak.

Bellatrix's avatar

I have the best intentions to write (snail mail) to people, to send cards and to telephone them. I just get too busy these days. As others have said I can email very quickly or even say hi on FB. It does make it harder if they don’t even use email.

wundayatta's avatar

I hate Facebook. I hate phones. But I love email. I love asynchronous communication. I love personalized communication. I hate announcements to the public. I am never interested in anything anyone else feels like announcing, and I can’t think of a damn thing I would announce to all my friends. I mean, there’s no way I could say any of the things that actually interest me.

So I have no tolerance for what passes for communication with most people. It makes me feel like I have no friends, but I know that if I was able and willing to do what most people do, I could probably have five thousand friends like most people on Facebook have. Did I mention that I hate Facebook? More and more, as time goes on.

It represents a world that feels wrong to me. I’m so uncomfortable in that world. I could never write this in the Facebook world. I could never say what I actually think, and if you don’t say what you really think, what is the point of saying anything?

So put me out in a pasture somewhere or feed me to the ducks. I’m not cut out for the modern world. Not my cup of Earl Grey. And it certainly ain’t no java mocha!

Bellatrix's avatar

You can communicate privately using Facebook. I don’t use FB much either @Wunday but there is the option to mainly use private communication.

susanc's avatar

I don’t like most phone calls because they wander on and on.
Others I relish. But – I wonder about whether part of why it’s hard for some of us to go BACKWARDS to phone calls – (and I remember when there weren’t even answering machines, if you didn’t reach someone you just had to call again till you found them at home) – is that we’re a pretty visual species, and it’s easier to read and write than to listen.
If I could see the people I want to talk with, I’d like it better. I don’t like Skype even a little bit, though, because of the way the other person is always looking down at the corner of their screen. I feel this is rude, though I know better.

jca's avatar

@wundayatta: As @Bellatrix said, FB can be used for private communication (pm or chat). To me, when I use it that way, it’s more convenient than email because people’s email addresses can change but their FB page is always their FB page. It doesn’t have to be used only for wall posts. As @gailcalled said, it can be a convenient way to post and view photos, too.

wundayatta's avatar

@jca I use google chat which can also do video. I don’t believe FB can do video. FB seems to have an overly complicated and non-obvious interface. With google, everything is where you expect it to be, and it doesn’t change every few months.

But even with that, I have my status set permanently to invisible. Otherwise my son is inundating me with stupid chats every ten minutes. And my wife is sending things every hour. And my sister is sending me things every day or so. I would not have a life if I let people know I was online and contactable. I don’t know how people stand it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yes I do! I loathe the phone, I just have no patience to sit and talk for an hour. I tell everyone to email me or fb me.

Bellatrix's avatar

Awww @Wunday – you hide from your wife! I hope she doesn’t read this.

wundayatta's avatar

I told her today that if it didn’t cost her ten cents a pop, I’d text her that I love her twenty times a day. But that would cost her $700 a year. So she should just imagine all those texts and feel loved, and then feel doubly loved because I’m saving her all that money.

So there you have it. Of such stuff love is made of. ;-)

gailcalled's avatar

@wundayatta: A cheaper way is to leave little billet doux for her in surprising places, such as inside a coat pocket or wrapped around her toothbrush or on the car’s rearview mirror.

Adagio's avatar

Phones are just fine by me.

AshlynM's avatar

Yes mainly my parents. They refuse to get with the times so unfortunately all we have to communicate with each other is the phone. I am not a big phone person either… I’d prefer to text or email but my parents are stubborn.

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